Thomas Cooper


Artist Biography:

Born in 1803 in Canterbury, Thomas Sidney Cooper was one of the foremost animal painters of the Victorian Period. He was greatly encouraged by Abraham Cooper (no relation) and Sir Thomas Lawrence. He entered the Royal Academy Schools before taking up a position as a teacher in Brussels in 1829. It was here that he became friends with the great Belgian animal painter, Verboeckhoven, who greatly influenced his style. He was also influenced by the 17th Century Dutch School. In 1831 he settled in London and first exhibited in Suffolk Street in 1833. He exhibited forty-eight pictures at the British Institution between 1833 and 1863. Sheep and cattle were his most frequent subjects, although he did paint a few figurative subjects. After about 1870 his commissions were so constant and lucrative that he was tempted to yield to facile reception of his favourite themes. In 1882 he moved back to Canterbury where he set up the Sidney Cooper Art Gallery, from where he continued producing paintings until he died in 1902, at the age of ninety-nine.

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